Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Child Care
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Coffee Shops
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Duct Cleaning
     None  Electric utility
     None  Employment - Hiring Opportunity
     None  Equine Services
     None  Errand Services
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Fitness
     None  Flooring
     None  Food Products
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Garage Doors
     None  Gun Accessories
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Health Care Facilities and Services
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Inspector
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insulation
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Knitting and Sewing
     None  Landscaping
     None  Mortgage
     None  Orthodontist
     None  Painting - Interior/Exterior
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Property Management
     None  RV Sales and Service
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Senior Citizen's Services
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Septic Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Upholstery
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Welding
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair
     None  Winery
     None  Woodworking

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread."
– Edward Abbey  
About Us | Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 9 September 2019  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher  
None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News From D 49   None People on the Plains  
None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In

Bill Radford

  Snakes, ducks, kittens — oh, my
  By Bill Radford

   Longtime local journalist Bill Radford and his wife, Margaret, live on 5 acres in the Falcon area with ducks, chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, two noisy parrots, goats and two horses. Contact Bill at

   Elsewhere in this issue, you'll find Mark's Meanderings. I'm going to be meandering a lot myself this month. We'll call it Radford's Ruminations; that sounds a lot more engaging than my other thought, which was Bill's Blitherings.
   Snakes alive! When we lived in the Springs, we had a fish pond that constantly attracted snakes; one of our son's favorite pursuits when he was little was to pull out of the rocks and proudly display a garter snake from around the pond. Out here in the prairie, snake sightings are less common. But a bullsnake was recently spotted down the road from our house, doing its best to pretend it was a rattlesnake, and I found another bullsnake — about 4 feet long — leisurely winding its way through the front yard on a sunny afternoon.
   The Environmental Division of the El Paso Community Services Department offers this useful information on bullsnakes on its Facebook page:
   "Bullsnakes (aka gopher snakes) and western rattlesnakes are two species that are often confused when encountered. Both species occur within El Paso County and can look and behave in a similar fashion. Bullsnakes will often assume a defensive posture like a rattlesnake in an attempt to mimic their more dangerous counterparts. These snakes will take this mimicry further to the point of shaking their tails in dry leaves or grass in order to create a 'rattling' sound. Additionally, coloration and patterning of western rattlesnakes and bullsnakes is also often similar. … Although individuals exhibit a great deal of variability, the general identifying characteristics of rattlesnakes include rattles at the end of the tail, broad triangular-shaped heads with narrow necks, facial pits near the nostrils and vertical cat-like pupils. Bullsnakes lack rattles at the end of the tail, tend to have a head and neck of the same width although they can spread their heads out to mimic rattlesnakes, lack facial pits and have round pupils."
   Critter connections: We have some new additions to the Radford Ranch menagerie.
   We lost one of our two female ducks last fall. We had nursed Honey the duck through bumblefoot, only to have her die when she became egg bound. That left us with two males and one female, not a good ratio for the female. So as spring came, we intensified our hunt for another girl and got one at the Critter Swap at Big R. We have cleverly named her The New Duck. She has fitted in well with the other ducks, but unfortunately, Quackers, one of the boys, still has amorous intentions toward the chickens. So birds and chickens remain separated.
   We also have a new kitten. He also came after a loss: Montana, one of our two cats, died suddenly of a blood clot. His death was a shock, and we had no intention of getting another cat right away. But we were worried that the remaining cat, Miles, might be lonely, and then someone told us about a woman seeking homes for a batch of kittens.
   The new kitten's name is Babu; in Nepal, that’s a term of endearment for a little boy. Our daughter came home in June from more than two years serving in the Peace Corps in Nepal, so the name is a tip of the hat to her experience. (In Googling Babu, I also found a movie, "Nepali Babu," touted as "a super-hit movie featuring super stars like Bhuwan KC, Jal Sha, and Sunil Thapa," and a game, "Nepali Babu Adventure.")
   Babu is a tireless, claw-wielding ball of fur who is always ready to pounce on, and wrestle with, Miles. Miles puts up with it for the most part, but it's possible he would have preferred being lonely.
   City mouse, country mouse: In our half-dozen years in the country, we've come to appreciate the wide-open vistas; the houses in town now seem so crammed together. So it has been surprising how much my wife, Margaret, and I appreciate a touch of suburbia that I brought to the property this summer.
   We already had a fenced-in side yard where we could lounge and let the dogs hang out. But quarreling dogs led me to build another fence in the backyard, right outside our sliding glass door. This way dogs could all be out but separated if necessary.
   But it also resulted in another part of the property to enjoy. The back of the house faces west, so we can now sit in the backyard and gaze at the mountains in the distance with the sliding glass door wide open; that means the dogs can run in and out and the house can more quickly cool when the evening breezes arrive. It also helps that we had plenty of snow and rain this spring, which means we can look out on a beautiful, green pasture instead of the brown dust bowl that was there last summer. We had part of the pasture seeded early this spring; a neighbor called it "a costly gamble," but it's a gamble that has paid off.
Bullsnakes are often confused with rattlers.
Miles the cat with his new kitten buddy, Babu. Photos by Bill Radford
Facebook print this page      

  © 2004-2019 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. About Us | Contact Us | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy